Local residents had the opportunity to get up close with one of Australia’s greatest sporting trophies on Tuesday, 12 July when the Emirates Melbourne Cup commenced its NSW tour in Coonabarabran.
Part of the 14th annual tour of Australia and New Zealand, the $175,000, 18-carat gold Cup was displayed and provided photo opportunities during visits to the Coonabarabran Racecourse, Siding Spring Observatory, the Warrumbungles, Yuluwirri Pre-school, Binnaway Racecourse and Dunedoo, with a special Melbourne Cup gala dinner held in Coolah.
Warrumbungle Shire Council mayor, Peter Shinton, said the community was excited to host the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour and celebrate the history and culture of the ‘race that stops a nation’.
“We are thrilled that the Cup is visiting our small towns,” Cr Shinton said.
“After enduring severe drought and devastating bushfires in recent years, it means the world to us to have the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour visit our region.”
Joining the Tour was 1999 Melbourne Cup winning jockey, John Marshall, who shared first-hand his unique Melbourne Cup winning story.
Victoria Racing Club (VRC) chief executive, Simon Love, said it was wonderful to be able to share the iconic trophy with the people of Warrumbungle Shire.
“The Emirates Melbourne Cup is a cultural icon in Australia, so it’s only fitting that we take the Cup, and its rich history, on a journey to meet the people,” Mr Love said.
The Tour will travel to 34 towns and cities across Australia and New Zealand, providing communities with the opportunity to experience the ‘People’s Cup’ before it returns to Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
Taking advantage of seeing the Melbourne Cup up close during the Emirates Melbourne Cup tour stop-over at the Coonabarabran Racecourse were Justin Antaw, Wayne Martyn, Joe McBeath, Harold Birrell, Kerry Valette, John Marshall, Leanne Redfern, Sarah Baglee, Stewart Rodgers and Alec Rodgers (front).